October has always been a very productive month. Maybe it’s the light glowing gold as the year transitions to the cold months, or the subtle boost of energy as nature prepares itself with big winds across blue skies and the hum of creatures outside working to find food to get thru the winter months. I love autumn and being part of that energy with my creativity.
And yet I am procrastinating right now, this minute, before starting my next big project. It’s not a difficult project or new technique. I just can’t get it started. I don’t feel like it. I’m looking at delicious colors and know exactly what I want to make and how.
And it’s not that fear that it won’t be perfect. Not this time, for once. It’s all planned out, I just have to Do The Thing.
Some of it might be burnout. I’m not feeling particularly creative right this minute. I really want to get this made, because I want to get to the project after that, too.
I’m annoyed. And sorta feeling stuck, confident it will pass, wishing it had passed along already and I was happily working and being productive.
What I should do is go find a book I’d been saving for days like this and read it, get inspired by someone else’s efforts and creativity.
And I know that when things get going, it’s going to be great fun.
But not today. Well, even then, maybe writing this out will help shift that energy, and get me started this afternoon. It’s happened before. Acknowledging the feeling without judging it or myself does help to shift it so I can get to work. I don’t really think so this time, tho. I feel very meh, and I do think some reading time would be good.
Procrastination has been, in the 16 years of this creative work, a big pain in my butt, when it was fear-driven. Or new technique-driven, which often has a time-consuming learning curve. The big question was “is it worth it if I fail?” and the hesitation that comes from getting that answer to YES can take a long time to answer. As long as that answer is NO, the project is never getting started, and if there is a sudden burst of brave do-it-anyway-energy and it does get started, it probably won’t get finished. It took me a long time to learn that the satisfaction doesn’t come from the finished work, but being happy with the work, which is not the same thing, especially regarding new techniques. When that lesson gets learned, all of a sudden it’s easier to start a new technique or idea because just finishing is no longer the goal but a given. At least, that’s what helped me get from “How will I ever?” to “But do I love it?” Which means no longer being concerned with perfect, and that is the greatest feeling, if you are a frustrated perfectionist, which I am. When you can’t get out of your own way, procrastination feels terrible, like you’ve already failed, and you haven’t even started! And it doesn’t get you started, either, just sits on your shoulder whispering lies and putting roadblocks in your way.
And then there’s this kind, where maybe you need a break from all the creative scheming and decision-making. That’s where procrastination is your friend, the sign you need to set your work aside and give your imagination a rest, before you actually burn out.
That’s where I am, I think. Maybe if I take off today, I’ll find my imagination in bloom again tomorrow. It feels good to set it all down for a minute, and I know my creativity will thank me later with beautiful design ideas and the energy to make them.
So, till then, jool friends, I’ll see ya soon with something new!